Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
by Nikki Horne
“…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”
It was about five years after Rob and I were married that we wanted to start a family. We continually prayed that God would bless us with a baby. One year went by, then two years, and still no baby. We took the next step of seeing a doctor just to make sure that everything was okay. During the appointment our doctor said that a certain medication might help with the pregnancy process; however, it wasn’t a guarantee. If that didn’t work, I would need to come back in for some further testing. I remember leaving that appointment and feeling so unsure about so many things. And I had so many questions…we had been praying for such a long time in hopes to become parents.
About a week after our appointment, we decided to take a hike down one of our favorite paths at Mission Trails. The trail was dry, and the springtime flowers had started to wither away. As Rob and I turned the corner to head back to the car, the trail ahead was saturated by the tallest mustard seed plants we had ever seen. It was so beautiful! We looked at each other in amazement, and I was overcome by a peace and stillness that only the Holy Spirit could provide. The verse from Matthew and the phrase, faith the size of a mustard seed was placed on my heart that day.
A month passed since that encounter on the trail, and guess what…we were going to be parents! We were overcome by such joy! I couldn’t help but look back at that day on the trail with the mustard seed plants. I felt that God was reassuring me that if our faith, even the size of a mustard seed, is in our all-powerful Father, great things can happen!*
So, what does this verse mean? In biblical times, the mustard seed was used to represent the “smallest of things” with a diameter of just 1 to 2 millimeters. However, from that tiny seed, a mustard seed plant can grow up to 30 feet in height. By using this illustration, Jesus directs the focus away from our faith to the object of our faith, because our faith is only as strong as the object in which it is placed. In this context, all the strength and power come from the object of faith (God himself), rather than the size of our faith…so even a ‘mustard seed faith’ will do.*
The Bible defines faith as a dependent assurance of God’s character and promises. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This doesn’t mean, however, that we harness God’s power to accomplish whatever we desire. If faith is truly a dependent assurance in the character and promises of God, then that faith will only pursue things that align with and agree with these promises.*
Looking back 12 years ago, I can see how God was working in the waiting. It was all in His perfect timing! Maybe there is something in your life circumstance that you don’t quite understand…difficulty in a relationship, job loss, sickness, and so forth. Please don’t lose hope! Our loving Lord is there to provide peace, comfort, and hope for all who seek it. He provides a faith that will move mountains!
Dear Lord, thank You for the promises of Your comfort, peace, and hope. May we continue to rely on Your strength and hope. We give You thanks for all that You have done in our lives and ask that You continue to bless each one of us. In Your name we pray, Amen.
*Paraphrased from Barry, Aaron: “What Does ‘Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed’ Even Mean?” May 26, 2022, crosswalk.com.